Supporting community fundraisers: 5 lessons charities can learn from Macmillan

Supporting community fundraisers: 5 lessons charities can learn from Macmillan

A large proportion of charity donations come from community fundraising and have been a staple part of every charity's income for decades. A 2012 report by Just Giving showed that events fundraising alone had grown in 2012 by 8% and that since 2007 the number of fundraising events had grown by 700%! As a result, it's key that charities are doing all they can to support their community fundraisers and make fundraising as easy as possible. Macmillan has done a great job of this and has implemented some incredibly innovative ideas to help support and engage their fundraisers. In this post we look at 5 key ways Macmillan are doing this and how your charity can learn from their successes.

1. Provide innovative ideas

Most charities will provide fundraising ideas on their website but they are usually all very similar; hold a coffee morning, run a table top sale or take up a marathon place. All of these are great and will consistently bring in donations but often these will only engage current supporters. In order to engage new supporters you need to inspire and motivate.

Macmillan's Go Sober for October campaign is a great example of how an innovative idea can help encourage more people to get involved and fundraise. This campaign works because it capitalises on an idea that people want to engage with. Many people want to drink less, and this campaign gives them a reason to do it and to stick with it; so it not only benefits the charity but benefits the individual too. A campaign like this encourages individuals to get their friends, family and work colleagues involved – so targeting one individual could lead to several people or a community getting involved and fundraising.

Macmillan have used some great ideas to make this campaign seem really interesting – such as the Golden ticket which costs £15 but allows a person a 'night off' from their challenge.

2. Think Social

Macmillan's Go Sober campaign really thought about how potential supporters wanted to be targeted. As a result they created lots of useful resources that people would want to share or use on social platforms.

Recipes for non-alcoholic cocktails is not only great for people going sober as part of the campaign but becomes a useful piece of content supporters will want to share with their friends and family.

Using social media tools such as Twibbons (adding a 'sticker' over your avatar) for Twitter and Facebook, allows users to show their friends and family what campaign they are supporting as well as help promote the cause:

Adding downloadable icons for Facebook and Twitter is another option for supporters to help spread the word:

3. Focus on Local

Fundraisers want convenience so helping them determine how they can get involved in a national fundraising campaign locally could make a big difference. Macmillan have tackled this by launching an “In your area" section of the website (currently still in beta).

4. Provide comprehensive information

Macmillan approaches this slightly differently to other charities. Most charities simply provide a downloadable PDF but Macmillan present the information in a much easier way to digest. By really thinking about how users engage with content, they came up with a 5 step plan to provide information in bite sized chunks:

Then when a supporter is ready to commit they can visit Macmillan's microsite Be Macmillan and gain access to a wide range of fundraising support materials.

5. Make fundraising materials easily accessible

To keep to brand guidelines and ensure all of their events are easily recognisable, Be Macmillan allows their community fundraisers to create their own, bespoke posters and flyers online:

Obviously, developing a site like this could be incredibly costly but there are tools available that are much more affordable. Electric Putty's very own tool BrandStencil is one of them.

Using BrandStencil, organisations can create editable templates form the branded resources. It then allows supporters to login and edit with their own personal details such as time and place of an event. Not only does this make life easier for your supporters but it keeps your charity's brand looking professional and recognisable. Charities such as Army Cadet Force use BrandStencil and achieved great results.


One of the key tactics Macmillan use for engaging community fundraisers is focusing on the individual. They've really thought about how each person will engage with their website and what specific tools and resources they will need to make their fundraising efforts a success.

Want to improve your fundraising efforts?

Just like Macmillan, your charity wants to maintain brand consistency whilst helping support your community fundraisers. BrandStencil can help you do just that. Whether your local groups or supporters need 10 posters or 100 flyers – all they need to do is login and edit your existing branded material.

Try out the free demo!